Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ZLE/PLE Transition - A Success Story

Well here is a brief and happy story of how change can bring very positive results.

Last night the ZLE PTO formally elected a former PLE parent as one of next years co-VPs. Also, 2 former PLE parents are on next years fundraising leadership team. (I think the other co-VP and the last fundraising leader are both current ZLE parents)

Now why do I find this such a positive and happy story:
  • Some folks from both schools had reservations regarding "them" and "what is going to happen".
  • PTO Leaders from both schools actively reached out to engage each other as soon as the closure decision was made.
  • Folks seem to be having real dialogue, and are challenging their preconceived notions.
  • Folks are treating each others customs, ideas and history with respect.
  • New ideas and fresh energy is being created.
There are sure to be occasional issues and differences, however with the newly formed leadership team I am sure they will be resolved to best meet the needs of "OUR New ZLE" school.


Anonymous said...

We at PLE still have a heavy heart with the closing of Pilgrim Lane and losing friends to Sonnesyn. But, here's another great example of why everyone wants to go to ZLE! We're one of lucky families from PLE that will be at ZLE next year and we couldn't be happier. Next year ZLE will surpass RSI as the crown jewel of District 281!

John said...

I think I am just happy that things are heading the right direction and inclusiveness reigns at ZLE...

Though I like a little friendly competition between schools, I really would like for the elementaries to work together more and learn from each other. (especially on PTO web pages and budget formats) Somehow we need to increase the number of truly active and informed parents across the district. (ie 40% vs 4%...)

As for RSI, they have something truly unique in that only really engaged parents get in there. I mean the registration is a month before the rest of the elementaries. (who else would know?) Also, they are unique via the curriculum. So I think they will stay the apple of the RAS eye.

I'll be happy if we keep ZLE passing AYP, maintain the highest test scores in the district and make it a fun place for the students and parents. This will be challenging and rewarding enough.

Thanks for the thoughts !!!

Beans said...

ZLE is lucky to be getting several wonderful PTO members from PLE.

Thanks, Anonymous, for the burial notice for those who are being "lost" to Sonnesyn. It's fun to be reminded that we are getting the privilege of being displaced to something less than the "crown jewel" that everyone wants to go to. What does it say about a district of 281's size that it has one school that "everyone" wants to go to? I'd say that's not a very impressive crown.

I actually question if the majority of those on the ZLE waiting list actually want to go there, or if it is just that the alternatives are so unappealing.

John said...

Hey Beans,
I was hoping this would be an upbeat blog. So let me try to save it.

What can active parents at Sonnesyn, Sunny Hollow and PLE do today to start the ball rolling in a great direction at Sonnesyn? It is a great facility and there is no reason it can not compete with and exceed the other RAS schools.

In summary, you were given lemons and now it is time to make lemonade. However it will take at least one active parent from all three schools to start the stirring. You may have lost some active PLE parents, however you gained active parents and new ideas from 2 other schools.

I sat at the facility mtgs and saw the Sonnesyn, Sunny Hollow and PLE energy first hand. I would start making use of it.

John said...

Check these out for the prime contacts (ie "the movers and shakers...")
Sonnesyn PTSOSunny Hollow PTSOPilgrim Lane PTO

John said...

Sorry for them being grouped... There really are 3 links there.

Anonymous said...

By no means am I giving Sonnesyn a "burial notice". On the contrary, the PLE families are going to make Sonnesyn a much stronger school. As John said, there is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition between the schools. Let me rephrase - the western schools in District 281 will be the crown jewels!

Leslie said...

I am genuinely happy for the families at the new ZLE. However, I find myself with this nagging sadness and envy after reading this entry. I am one of the displaced parents who will be joining the new Sonnesyn community next fall. I'm sure I'll meet many nice parents there, but for the last 9 years it is you I have gotten to know. My past and present community involvement has not forged a relationship with anyone currently attending Sonnesyn. You are my friends and acquaintances. We at PLE and ZLE have shared our Plymouth neighborhoods like one. We were the east part of Plymouth that was not Wayzata or Osseo.
Let’s not overlook that this "success story" has its roots in the many pre-existing relationships between families due to common experiences in church, sports, MOMS clubs, preschools and more. This is what makes me sad. It’s not your (ZLE) fault, but now, the rest of us - especially for whom PLE is our neighborhood heart - we don't get to belong. The school board has excluded us from our own community, tearing it in half as though a piece of paper. I'll see you at church, or the grocery store, but I'll miss working along with you as our children grow. As for Sonnesyn, my children will adapt soon enough. I, along with other PLE families, will be an active part of their community; but Sonnesyn just isn’t a natural part of mine. For a while at least, I think I’ll feel homeless.

John said...

I empathize with you and the change your family is facing. If it was our family, my better half and the girls would have been beside themselves. (whereas I'm kind of an "oblivious" and "change is good" kinda guy) I would have been dealing with 4 upset women...(ie time for a hobby)

I wish more of your peers would have given Sonnesyn a chance instead of leaving RAS. It would have made the transition easier for all and helped Sonnysen excel even more..

Most importantly, I will still say "HI" to you at church... Even if you are one of those "Sonnesyn" folks... (hahaha) See you Sunday.